Nazareth and Trip to Jerusalem



  1. Children should identify Nazareth as the childhood home of Jesus.
  2. Children should know that Joseph was a carpenter, and so was Jesus.
  3. Children should be able to relate the story of the trip to Jerusalem and Jesus talking with the elders in the Temple.

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.
  2. Read the story of Jesus’s childhood in the Beginner’s Bible, pages 296-302,the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 175-177, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 280-285. Supplement if desired with the Golden Children’s Bible pages 358-359. Why did the family come back from Egypt?


  1. True/False Questions:

True                                         False

            Jesus grew up in Nazareth.                             Jesus grew up in Bethlehem.

            Joseph was a carpenter.                                   Joseph was a priest.

            Jesus and his family went to Jerusalem.         Jesus and his family went to Florida.

            Jesus was found in the Temple.                      Jesus was playing tag on the street.


  1. Discuss the love of our families: How are some ways our parents take care of us? (food, clothing, a house, etc.) How did Mary and Joseph care for Jesus as a boy? (many of same ways) What does your father or mother do at work? At home? What did Joseph do for a living? What’s a carpenter? Do you help your dad? Do you think Jesus helped his dad build things? How do you help your mom? Do you think Jesus did, too? Bring in some wood; we have hammers and nails. Play carpenter for a few minutes.


5.   Reenact the journey to Jerusalem: Have children play the roles of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and caravan members. Travel from your classroom to the sanctuary.

            On the road to Jerusalem: Stop and ask “Why are you going to Jerusalem? What are you looking forward to? What do you see on the road?”

            In the Temple: Stop and ask, “What are you doing in the Temple?” Have the whole class pray the Lord’s Prayer together in the sanctuary. Jesus stays in sanctuary; rest of class moves to vestibule.

            In the vestibule, about ready to go home, ask, “Where are you ready to go now?” Are you happy about your trip to Jerusalem?”

            Camping in the playground that night, ask, “Mary and Joseph, what have you just noticed? How do you feel? What will you do?”

            Back in the sanctuary, ask, “Jesus, what are you doing? Why did you stay behind? Mary and Joseph, how do you feel now that you’ve found Jesus? Jesus, what do you tell Mary and Joseph?”

            Back to the classroom, ask, “Where are we now?” Did we have a good trip?”

  1. Make a scroll, like the one Jesus might have used as a boy. Use a pencil or a small dowel for each end and glue or tape on the piece of paper. Make several – each with a different picture of Jesus’s boyhood (carpenter, traveling to Jerusalem, in the Temple, at home in Nazareth, etc.)


6. Alternate craft: Make a "Jesus Left Behind in the Temple" Foldable – print on cardstock the doors with Mary and Joseph and color and cut out. Print the icon on regular paper and cut out Jesus and the elders with their chairs and the floor, leaving Mary and Joseph and the upper background behind. Fold the “card” with both short ends towards the middle like a door. Glue the inside of the temple with Jesus and the elders in the center section. Fold doors shut. Open the doors to see Jesus inside. Re-enact with Mary and Joseph opening the doors to find their Son. Cut the “roof” section to finish the foldable.

7.   Close with prayer.